How MetaDesign Solutions (MDS) leveraged the Unity Platform to deliver an extensive Virtual Golfing experience
Based in Florida, USA, Drive Shack is an Entertainment company that combines Traditional Golf along with card games and other unique experiences.
Drive Shack is a graphically intense 3D Golf simulation. Leveraging the full might of the Unity Engine, Drive Shack features extremely realistic environments as well as true to life physics simulations with real-time data gathered using sophisticated custom hardware.
Drive Shack contacted MetaDesign Solutions to create a required real-life data gathered by People playing Golf to be represented virtually in a variety of unique game modes via an app, with several scoring schemes which would serve to enhance a player’s experience.
The Drive Shack experience is an extremely complex series of processes running in tandem with each other. Specialized hardware was used to gain insights and provide accurate insights for calculating essential data such as the Golf ball’s trajectory.
The MDS team created several custom APIs to interface with various assets to ensure the player receives the best possible experience with Drive Shack.
Drive Shack uses sophisticated hardware which precisely tracks swing speed, ball speed, apex height, spin rates and distances. This data is relayed to a server to be processed and utilized effectively for simulations and gamification.
The MDS team utilized the Unity engine to recreate several Driving Ranges virtually and added many types of arcade elements such as Aliens, Monsters, BlackJack cards into the environment. This would allow players to have many different experiences within the same driving range. These arcade elements feature different scoring mechanisms and have differing impacts on gameplay.
MDS gathered the simulation data and coalesced the same with their 3D models to provide a true to life Golfing experience. In addition to the standard Golf scoring and playing modes, several Arcade elements were added. 3D monsters and other elements were added to the simulation. This resulted in the player swinging the club and striking the Golf ball physically, with a virtual representation of the same + added arcade elements being shown the player via a display.
Being a complex mesh of 3D environments and elements combined with physical activity, Drive Shack posed a few challenges while in development. The MDS team was successful in overcoming the following obstacles.
Integration of real-time weather with the virtual environment was posing a problem which was solved with a custom solution.
To calculate the variables such as the swing of the Golf club, the trajectory of the ball, the wind speed and more, specialized hardware was used. Representing this data in 3D was a challenge. We created a custom API to provide instant data regarding the player’s actions. This data was related to realistic environments developed on the Unity engine.
Integration with the Drive Shack app which kept score was achieved with a custom API. This allowed us to score the player and translate the scores into their chosen game mode.
With Drive Shack, MetaDesign Solutions was able to deliver a complete Golfing experience with many unique gameplay modes, giving players a choice between arcade modes or playing a realistic Golf simulation from a range of professional modes. As a result, Drive Shack has established itself a premier Golfing experience in the USA.
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